floppycontrol(1)            General Commands Manual           floppycontrol(1)

       floppycontrol - floppy driver configuration utility

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          floppycontrol [-p] [--pollstate] [--printfdstate]
          [-a operation-abort-threshold] [-c read-track-threshold]
          [-r recalibrate-threshold] [-R reset-threshold]
          [-e reporting-threshold] [-f] [-x] [-d drive][-F] [-T]
          [-reset condition] [--debug] [--nodebug] [--messages]
          [--nomessages] [--broken_dcl] [--working_dcl] [--inverted_dcl]
          [--no_inverted_dcl] [--silent_dcl_clear] [--noisy_dcl_clear]
          [-ccmos-type] [-hlt hlt] [-hut hut] [-srt srt] [-o spindown]
          [-u spinup] [-s select-delay] [-rps rotations-per-second]
          [-O spindown-offset] [-track max-tracks] [-timeout seconds]
          [-C check-interval] [-n native-format]
          [-autodetect autodetection-sequence] [-P] [--clrwerror]
          [--printwerror] [-h]

       The floppycontrol program is used to configure the floppy driver.

General Options
       --help Print a help screen.

       -d drive
       --drive  drive
              Selects   the  drive  to  configure.  The  default  is  drive  0

One time actions
       The following floppycontrol options don't set a  configuration  parame-
       ter,  but  perform a one-time action. They are available to anybody who
       has write access to the drive

              Flushes (throws away) the dirty  data  buffers  associated  with
              this drive.

              Ejects  the disk out of the drive (Sparc). The dirty buffers are
              first committed to disk before ejecting it. Fails if the disk is

       --reset  condition
              Resets  the  FDC  under  condition . Condition may be one of the

              0      resets the FDC only if a reset is needed anyways,

              1      resets the FDC also if a raw command has  been  performed
                     since the last reset, and

              2      resets the FDC unconditionally.

              This  command  may be needed after some failed raw commands (see
              section  fdrawcmd).

              Issues an end format ioctl. This might be needed after exiting a
              fdformat in an unclean way. superformat is not subject to this.

Printing current settings
       --type Print out the drive name of a floppy device. This is used by the
              MAKEFLOPPIES script. The drive name is a letter (describing  the
              drive type) followed by the capacity of the format in bytes. The
              letter is E for 3.5 ED drives, H for 3.5 HD drives, D for 3.5 DD
              drives, h for 5.25 HD drives and d for 5.25 DD drives. The drive
              type letter corresponds to the oldest drive type supporting  the
              format  of  this  device  node  (not necessarily the type of the
              drive referred by this node.)   For  the  generic  format  nodes
              (/dev/fd0  et  al.)  the name of "native format" of the drive is
              printed, and for the default formats, if a  generic  format  has
              been redefined, its name becomes (null).

              Prints out the configuration of the drive. The names of the var-
              ious fields are the same as the names of the option to set them,
              see below.

              Prints  out  the  cached internal state of the driver. The first
              line lists various attributes about the disk:

              drive present
              disk present
              disk writable
                     These are only updated when the drive is accessed.

                     is the time when the motor became  switched  on  for  the
                     last time.

                     is  the  time when the drive became selected for the last

                     is the time when the first read request  after  the  last
                     spin up completed.

                     is the index of the autodetected format in the autodetec-
                     tion sequence for this drive.

                     is the cylinder where the drive head currently sits.   If
                     this number is negative, it has the following meaning:

                     *      -1  means  that  the  driver doesn't know, but the
                            controller does (a seek command must be issued).

                     *      -2 means that the controller doesn't know  either,
                            but  is  sure  that  it not beyond the 80th track.
                            The drive needs a recalibration.

                     *      -3 means that the head  may  be  beyond  the  80th
                            track.   The drive needs two successive recalibra-
                            tions, because at  each  recalibration,  the  con-
                            troller  only issues 80 move head commands per re-

                     is the highest block number that has been read.

                     is a boolean which is set when a sector that  is  not  on
                     cylinder  0/head  0  has  been  read.  These are used for
                     smart  invalidation  of  the  buffer  cache  on  geometry
                     change.   The  buffer  cache of the drive is only invali-
                     dated on geometry change when this  change  actually  im-
                     plies that a block that has already been read changes po-
                     sition. This optimization  is  useful  for  mtools  which
                     changes the geometry after reading the boot sector.

                     is roughly the number of disk changes noticed since boot.
                     Disk changes are noticed if the disk is actually changed,
                     or if a flush command is issued and for both cases if any
                     I/O to/from the disk occurs. (i.e. if you insert  several
                     disks,  but don't do any I/O to them, the generation num-
                     ber stays the same.)

              refs   is number of open file descriptors for this drive. It  is
                     always  at  least  one,  because floppycontrol's file de-
                     scriptor is counted too.

                     is format type (as derived from the minor device  number)
                     which is currently being used.

                     is  date (in jiffies) when the drive was last checked for
                     a disk change, and a disk was actually in the drive.

              Polls the drive and then prints out the internal  state  of  the
              driver.(--Printstate  only  prints  out  the  cached information
              without actually polling the drive for a disk change.)

              Prints out the state of the controller where the target drive is
              attached to.

              spec2  are the current values of those registers.

              rate   is current data transfer rate

                     is true if a raw command has been executed since the last
                     reset. If this is the case, a  reset  will  be  triggered
                     when a drive on the same FDC is next opened.

              dor    is  the  value of the digital output register. The 4 high
                     bits are a bit mask describing which drives are spinning,
                     the 2 low bits describe the selected drive, bit 2 is used
                     to reset the FDC, and bit 3 describes  whether  this  FDC
                     has  hold  of  the interrupt and the DMA. If you have two
                     FDCs, bit 3 is only set on one of them.

                     is   the   version   of   the   FDC.    See    `linux/in-
                     clude/linux/fdreg.h'  for  a  listing  of the FDC version

              reset  is true if a reset needs to be issued to the  FDC  before
                     processing the next request.

                     is true if this FDC needs configuration by the FD_CONFIG-
                     URE command.

                     is set if the FDC understands the FD_CONFIGURE command.

                     describes the perpendicular mode of this FDC. 0  is  non-
                     perpendicular  mode,  2 is HD perpendicular mode, 3 is ED
                     perpendicular mode, and 1 is unknown.

                     is the address of the first I/O port of  the  FDC.   Nor-
                     mally,  this is 0x3f0 for the first FDC and 0x370 for the

Drive type configuration and autodetection
       The following options handle the different available drive types,  such
       as  double density vs. high density vs. extra density drives, and 5 1/4
       drives vs 3 1/2 drives.  Usually the drive type is  stored  in  a  non-
       volatile memory, called CMOS, under the form of an integer ranging from
       1 to 6.

       Different drive types are able to handle and autodetect different  for-
       mats  (different autodetection lists). They also have different "native
       format name". The native format is the "usual" format with the  highest
       capacity supported by the drive. (For example 720KB on a double density
       3 1/2 drive, and 1.2MB on a high density 5 1/4 drive.)

       These settings are only changeable by the super user.

       -c cmos-type
       --cmos  cmos-type
              Set the virtual CMOS type of the floppy drive. This is useful if

              *      the physical CMOS type is wrong  (this  may  happen  with
                     BIOSes which use a non-standard mapping),

              *      you have more than two drives (the physical CMOS may only
                     describe up to two drives).

              *      you have a BIOS that allows swapping drives A: and B: for

       Right  now,  this  CMOS parameter is not used by the kernel, except for
       feeding it back to other applications (for instance superformat,  flop-
       pymeter or MAKEFLOPPIES).  It is also possible to supply a virtual CMOS
       type with the cmos boot option (see section   Boottime  configuration).
       If  possible,  I recommend you use the boot option, rather than floppy-
       control, because the boot option also sets any parameters derived  from
       the  CMOS  type,  such as the autodetection list and the native format,
       whereas floppycontrol does not.

       -A  autodetect-seq
       --autodetect  autodetect-seq
              Set the autodetection sequence (see section  Autodetection)  The
              autodetection  sequence  is  a  comma-separated  list of at most
              eight format descriptors. Each format  descriptor  is  a  format
              number  optionally  followed  by the letter t.  For drive 0, the
              format number is the minor device number divided by 4.  The  au-
              todetection  sequence is used by the driver to find out the for-
              mat of a newly inserted disk. The formats are  tried  one  after
              the  other,  and  the first matching format is retained. To test
              the format, the driver tries to read the  first  sector  on  the
              first  track on the first head when t is not given, or the whole
              first track when t is given. Thus, autodetection  cannot  detect
              the  number of tracks. However, this information is contained in
              the boot sector, which is now accessible. The  boot  sector  can
              then  be  used  by  mtools  to  configure  the correct number of



              means to try out the formats whose minor device numbers  are  28
              (1.44M),  16 (720KB), 96 (1.76MB), and 100 (1.92MB), in this or-
              der. For the 1.76MB format, try to read the whole track at once.

              Reading the whole track at once allows you  to  distinguish  be-
              tween  two  formats  which differ only in the number of sectors.
              (The format with the most sectors must be tried first.)  If  you
              use  mtools,  you do not need this feature, as mtools can figure
              out the number of sectors  without  any  help  from  the  floppy
              driver, by looking at the boot sector.

              Reading the whole track at once may also speed up the first read
              by 200 milliseconds. However, if, on the other hand, you try  to
              read  a  disk  which  has less sectors than the format, you lose
              some time.

              I suggest that you put the most often used format in  the  first
              place  (barring other constraints), as each format that is tried
              out takes 400 milliseconds.

       -n native-format
       --native_format  native-format
              Set the native format of this drive.  The  native  format  of  a
              drive  is  the highest standard format available for this drive.
              (Example: For a 5 1/4 HD drive it is the  usual  1200K  format.)
              This  is  format  is  used  to  make  up the format name for the
              generic device (which is the name of the  native  format).  This
              drive  name  is  read  back  from the kernel by the MAKEFLOPPIES
              script which uses it to decide which device nodes to create.

Configuration of the disk change line
              Assumes that the disk change line of the drive  is  broken.   If
              this is set, disk changes are assumed to happen whenever the de-
              vice node is first opened. The physical disk change line is  ig-

              This  option  should  be used if disk changes are either not de-
              tected at all, or if disk changes are detected when the disk was
              actually  not  changed.   If  this option fixes the problem, I'd
              recommend that you try to trace the root cause of  the  problem.
              Indeed,  this options results in reduced performance due to spu-
              rious cache flushes.

              The following hardware problems may lead to a  bad  disk  change

              *      If the floppy cable is not inserted straight, or if it is
                     kinked, the disk change line is likely to suffer,  as  it
                     is  on  the edge of the cable.  Gently press on both con-
                     nectors of the cable (drive  and  controller)  to  insure
                     that all wires make contact.  Visually inspect the cable,
                     and if it shows obvious traces of damage, get a new one.

              *      On some drives, the locations disk  change  line  may  be
                     chosen  by  jumper. Make sure that your floppy controller
                     and your drive agree on which line  is  the  disk  change

              *      Some  older  drives  (mostly double density 5 1/4 drives)
                     don't have a disk change line.  In this case, you have no
                     choice other than to leave the broken_dcl option on.

              Assumes  that  the  disk  change line works all right. Switching
              from broken to working may lead to unexpected results after  the
              first disk change.

              Assumes  that this disk drive uses an inverted disk change line.
              Apparently this is the case for IBM thinkpads.

              Assumes that this drive follows the standard convention for  the
              disk change line.

              Switches off silent disk change line clearing for this drive.

Timing Parameters
       This  section  describes  how to configure drive timings.  To set these
       parameters, you need superuser privileges. All  times  are  in  "jiffy"
       units (10 milliseconds), unless otherwise specified.

       --hlt  hlt
              Set  the head load time (in microseconds) for this floppy drive.
              The head load time describes  how  long  the  floppy  controller
              waits  after seeking or changing heads before allowing access to
              a track.

       --hut  hut
              Set the head unload  time  (in  microseconds)  for  this  floppy
              drive.   The head unload time describes how long the floppy con-
              troller waits after an access before directing its attention  to
              the other head, or before seeking.

       --srt  srt
              Set  the step rate (in microseconds) for this floppy drive.  The
              step rate describes how long the drive head stays on one  cylin-
              der  when  seeking.   Setting this value to low (too fast seeks)
              may make seeks fail,  because  the  motor  doesn't  follow  fast

       -u spinup-time
       --spinup  spinup-time
              Set  the spinup time of the floppy drive. In order to do read or
              write to the floppy disk, it must spin. It takes a certain  time
              for  the  motor to reach enough speed to read or write. This pa-
              rameter describes this time. The floppy driver  doesn't  try  to
              access the drive before the spinup time has elapsed. With modern
              controllers, you may set this time to zero,  as  the  controller
              itself enforces the right delay.

       -o spindown-time
       --spindown  spindown-time
              Set  the  spindown  time  of this floppy drive. The motor is not
              stopped immediately after the operation completes, because there
              might  be  more  operations  following. The spindown time is the
              time the driver waits before switching off the motor.

       -O spindown-offset
       --spindown_offset  spindown-offset
              Set the spindown offset of this floppy drive. This parameter  is
              used to set the position in which the disk stops. This is useful
              to minimize the next access time. (If the first sector  is  just
              near  the  head at the very moment at which the disk has reached
              enough speed, you win 200 milliseconds against the most unfavor-
              able situation).

              This  is  done  by clocking the time where the first I/O request
              completes, and using this time to calculate the current position
              of the disk.

       -s select-delay
       --select_delay  select-delay
              Set  the  select  delay  of this floppy drive. This is the delay
              that the driver waits after selecting the drive and issuing  the
              first  command to it. For modern controllers/drives, you may set
              this to zero.

       -C check-interval
       --checkfreq  check-interval
              Set the maximal disk change check  interval.   The  disk  change
              line  is  checked  whenever a read or write to the device is is-
              sued, and it  has  not  been  checked  for  more  than  interval

Debugging messages
       This  subsection  describes  how to switch the available debugging mes-
       sages on and off.

              Switch debugging output on. The debugging  information  includes
              timing information. This option might be useful to fine-tune the
              timing options for your local setups. (But for most normal  pur-
              poses, the default values are good enough.)

              Switch debugging output off.

              Print  informational  messages after autodetection, geometry pa-
              rameter clearing and dma over/underruns.

              Don't print informational messages after these events.

Error Handling Options
       The following options configure the behavior of the  floppy  driver  in
       case  of  read/write errors. They may be used by any user who has write
       privileges for the drive. Whenever the floppy driver encounters an  er-
       ror,  a retry counter is incremented. If the value of this counter gets
       bigger than the thresholds described below, the  corresponding  actions
       are  performed at the next retry. The counter is reset when the read or
       write finally terminates, whether successfully or not.

       -a operation-abort-threshold
       --abort  operation-abort-threshold
              Tell the floppy driver to stop trying to read/write a sector af-
              ter  operation-abort-threshold retries, and signal the I/O error
              to the user.

       -t read-track-threshold
       --readtrack  read-track-threshold
              Tell the floppy driver to switch from track-reading mode to sec-
              tor-at-a-time-mode after read-track-threshold retries.

       -r recalibrate-threshold
       --recalibrate  recalibrate-threshold
              Tell  the  floppy  driver to recalibrate the drive after recali-
              brate-threshold retries.

       -R reset-threshold
       --reset  reset-threshold
              Tell the floppy driver to  reset  the  controller  after  reset-
              threshold  retries.  After a controller reset, the floppy driver
              also recalibrates all drives connected to that controller.

       -e error-report-threshold
       --reporting  error-report-threshold
              Tell the floppy driver to start printing error messages  to  the
              console after error-report-threshold retries.

Write error reporting
       Due  to the buffer cache, write errors cannot always be reported to the
       writing user program as soon as the write system call returns.  Indeed,
       the  actual  writing may take place much later. If a write error is en-
       countered, the floppy driver stores information about  it  in  its  per
       drive  write  error  structure.  This write error structure stays until
       explicitly cleared.  It can for example be queried by a backup  program
       which wants to make sure that the data has been written successfully.

              Clears the write error structure.

              Prints the contents of the write error structure:

                     is  a  count of how many write errors have occurred since
                     the structure was last cleared.

                     is the maximal number of retries that were needed to com-
                     plete an operation (reads, writes and formats).

                     is  where  the  first  (chronologically)  write error oc-

                     is the disk change generation  in  which  did  the  first
                     write  error  occurred.   The disk change generation is a
                     number which is incremented at each disk change.


                     are similar.

Other drive configuration options
       This subsection lists per drive configuration options, which don't  fit
       in any other category.  They are available only to the superuser:

       --tracks  max-tracks
              Set  the  maximal numbers of physical tracks that this drive may
              handle. If you have a drive which is  only  able  to  handle  80
              tracks  (making  strange noises when you try to format or read a
              disk with more than 80 tracks), use this option to  prevent  un-
              privileged  users  of  damaging your drive by repeatedly reading
              disks with more than 80 tracks.

              If you trust your users and your disks,  you  don't  need  this.
              With  most  drives  you don't need to worry anyways. See section
              More cylinders, for details.

       -i sector-interleave
       --interleave sector-interleave
              Set the number of sectors beyond which sector interleaving  will
              be  used.   This option will only be used by the FDFMTTRK ioctl.
              The fdformat command, which is  now  considered  obsolete,  uses
              FDFMTTRK ioctl, but superformat does not.

See Also
       Fdutils' texinfo doc

fdutils-5.5                         03Mar05                   floppycontrol(1)
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